The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the market for a quarterback after 18 seasons of Ben Roethlisberger at the helm. However, if there was a time in recent NFL history when it wasn’t ideal to be searching for a new signal caller, it would be now.
Tuesday was a banner day for NFL news when it was announced Aaron Rodgers signed a mega extension to remain with the Green Bay Packers. Just hours later the trade between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, where Russell Wilson was sent to Denver for five draft picks, including two first round picks and players, sent shockwaves throughout the NFL landscape.
Immediately fans of the Steelers, and any other organization looking to add a quarterback, saw their options limited after these two moves. However, on Wednesday it was announced the Indianapolis Colts were trading Carson Wentz to the Washington Commanders for a pair of third round picks.
This per Adam Schefter:
Colts are trading QB Carson Wentz to Washington for a package of packs that is thought to include two third-round picks, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/KYb7rj5ozw— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2022
Again, the options for the Steelers became even more limited. Not that many Steelers fans wanted Wentz, but he certainly was a part of the discussions surrounding the future of the position.
When it comes to trade targets, the only quarterback which is realistically being discussed is San Francisco 49ers Jimmy Garoppolo. However, Garoppolo is on the mend after having shoulder surgery recently. Multiple reports are stating Garoppolo should be able to throw when camp begins, but the surgery certainly casts a cloud over the potential trade target.
This per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports:
Jimmy Garoppolo underwent successful shoulder surgery this week. Medical information will become widely available to interested teams. No deal imminent but plenty of clubs probing around. Colts, Steelers, Saints teams to watch. Could be something that heats up around the draft— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 9, 2022
A trade target no one is discussing is DeShaun Watson. The former Houston Texans signal caller had told the team he wanted a trade prior to his off the field issues which have yet to be resolved, and his name is being floated around as a potential candidate with several teams.
One of those teams is the Steelers, but Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Steelers beat writer Gerry Dulac cites sources inside the organization who state the Steelers are not interested in Watson.
Steelers ARE NOT interested in signing DeShaun Watson, despite what you might be hearing or reading, per team sources.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) March 9, 2022
So, what’s left? A banged up Jimmy G? Or a free agent quarterback? Who are the free agents available? Here is a list of the slim pickings...
Andy Dalton (Bears)
Marcus Mariota (Raiders)
Mitchell Trubisky (Bills)
Teddy Bridgewater (Broncos)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Commanders)
Jameis Winston (Saints)
Jacoby Brissett (Dolphins)
The Steelers could absolutely target a quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft, but that would mean they are content heading into the 2022 season with Mason Rudolph and/or Dwayne Haskins along with the rookie signal caller.
Not ideal, but no one would have predicted this process would be simple, or easy. The Steelers weren’t likely to be players in a big-time trade for a big-name quarterback. Likewise, they aren’t the type of organization to get into a bidding war over free agent players.
How this plays out is anyone’s guess, but it will be interesting to watch play out. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the start of the new league year and the NFL Draft.